Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Philadelphia Memories



















20 years ago, I left Philadelphia after four years of medical training and then teaching at a medical school to move to Northeast Pennsylvania with my wife, 2 year old son and one on the way. While living in Philly we attended Living Word Community in Center City. It was a vibrant fellowship of young professionals, med students, engineers, lawyers and doctors and was pastored by a former professor of electrical engineering at U of P. It was also a diverse congregation ethnically, embracing and welcoming people of all cultural backgrounds.

Shortly after arriving in Philadelphia, my wife was diagnosed with a rare but uniformly fatal form of lung cancer. At the time only 33 cases had been reported in the medical literature. Living Word Community surrounded us with love and support and some folks there introduced us to the "healing" teachings that had their roots in the Tulsa teachers (Hagen, Copeland, Roberts).
For the entire time we were there we studied and memorized the scriptures that pertained to healing and comforted ourselves with the belief that "Jesus went and healed them all" and "by his stripes we are healed." We read only what we wanted to believe the scriptures said and avoided the verses that told us things we didn't want to see. Verses like; "That I might know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings; being made conformable to his death" and "Not my will but yours" were not part of our lexicon of healing verses.
Needless to say, this was a difficult way to live, constantly in denial and working really, really hard to obtain the healing for my late wife. They say Catholics depend on works , but holy hanna, this was an awful lot of work!

The rest of the story is in my testimony here.
Today I was visiting my youngest son in Philadelphia and we went to Mass at the Cathedral in Center City. It dredged up a lot of memories and some sad feelings about that difficult time in my life. (Working 70-80 hours a week as an intern and carrying around the constant thought that my young wife could die if we didn't have enough faith) It turns out that the Cathedral is around the block from our old Living Word Community and we had to walk right past the cathedral every Sunday when I lived there. My Catholic Blinders were fully functional back then so I never knew what and who I was walking by. (I had no idea what a cathedral was.) This little trip down memory lane helped me to rejoice that I have found the fullness of faith in the Catholic Church.... but a tad bummed out because it took me so long!

Lord Jesus, for those out there who left the Catholic faith without knowing who they were leaving, give us the opportunity to find them and open our mouths so we will boldly speak the Truth in love.

7 Comments:

Blogger Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Do you mind updating to my new blog?

September 28, 2009 1:09 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Done Jackie, thanks!

September 28, 2009 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

God brings people to him in his own time.

It took me three times and 8 years to complete RCIA. I only went because I had agreed to go attend with my wife. Each time I began RCIA I had no intention of converting.

I realize in hindsight that had events allowed me to complete RCIA with my wife on either of the first two times, I would likely not be a catholic today. I just wasn't ready to consider the possibility that the Catholic Church had the truth.

God knew when the time was right for me.

October 03, 2009 9:46 PM  
Blogger TJ said...

Thanks Jason:
You are correct. This weekend I was talking to a brother at Church telling him about my 30 year journey away from and to the Church and I was wondering why it took me so long. he said "The student wasn't ready to listen to the teacher. If I tried to tell you about the Church 6 years ago, you would have said Get out of my face!"(with a joisey accent no doubt)

October 05, 2009 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

A Psalm for Sue . . . "O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call upon your name." Psalm 63:1-4

October 10, 2009 10:39 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

thank you for that scripture Barb.

October 10, 2009 12:07 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

a "tad bummed out because it took me so long"....too. SO Grateful now for the 'finding of the Church we'd lost!"

October 10, 2009 6:35 PM  

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